Friday, December 23, 2011

Labor and delivery: A positive experience

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and also the day my baby turns two months old! We've had a ton of all-nighters, lots of tears and a few meltdowns. But those tougher moments are easily overshadowed by her smiles, her cute little sighs and how it feels to hold her. I am so very thankful that Carl and I decided (kindof on a whim last January) to have a baby.

Before I was pregnant, I was apprehensive about becoming a mother. For a lot of reasons. One of those reasons: childbirth itself. It scared me. I wasn't sure I could handle the pain. This fear continued well into my pregnancy, until one day it was just ... gone. I knew it would be excruciating, but for the most part I had no fear. I did have a few brief moments of panic, but they always passed quickly.

I'm not going to say that labor wasn't as painful as I imagined (it was) or that I enjoyed the 60+ hours of contractions (I did not). But despite all of this, labor and delivery turned out to be a very positive experience for Carl and me. We couldn't have asked for a more ideal situation. Though we were in a hospital, it didn't feel clinical at all. I didn't have bright lights in my face or tons of medical equipment around me. It was just me, Carl, our friend/gym coach/trainer Kili, the nurse April and my midwife Jody. The experience was very special and very intimate. I feel so blessed to have had these three women in our presence when our daughter was born. I didn't even know April until that day, but she was an incredibly kind and supportive nurse. Jody was The. Best. Midwife. She seemed more like a friend than a medical professional simply there to do a job. Her passion for her work could not have been more obvious.

Mostly, though, I don't think I could have done any of this without Kili. Not only was she there for me throughout my entire pregnancy (helping me stay fit, healthy and sane), she got out of bed at midnight to meet us at the hospital when I called to tell her we were on our way. When the triage nurse told me that, despite my intense contractions, I was only at 1cm and could either go home or walk around the maternity ward to try to speed things along, Kili walked with me -- for two hours in the middle of the night. When I was in experiencing the worst of the pain, she rubbed my back and kept reminding me that I was strong and that I could do this. When it came time to push, she stood beside me and encouraged me for 90 straight minutes until the baby was out. She was a rock star of a labor coach and is one truly amazing friend. I honestly cannot find the words to express how grateful Carl and I are for her role in our daughter's birth. Did I already say I'm not sure I could have done this without her? I really mean it. I think every mom-to-be needs a friend like this in the delivery room.

As for the specifics of labor and delivery, I decided I'm not going to blog about all of those details. But I will say that everything went well. We had no complications and no surprises. Labor took forever, but once I started pushing everything moved along at a pretty quick pace. I did have an epidural, and at some point I'll write a post about why I went that route. I also plan to write a post about how I think my workouts helped with childbirth (hint: I think staying fit during pregnancy makes a BIG difference). Maybe next week, when my baby's grandma and grandpa (I might have some more time to write!). Happy Holidays, everyone!


  1. I am glad I found your blog. I am in my first cycle of IVF and have been eating Paleo for about two months. I am also a crossfitter and plan to continue during pregnancy, assuming I get pregnant. I am very healthy, age 37 and 5 months. The only reason we are doing IVF is because of my husband's vasectomy which we decided not to reverse because time is not on our side. Because of what is involved with IVF, I will have to back off the exercise for a bit but once I am pregnant I should be able to proceed normally. I am going to read through your blog for support and ideas as I go through this process. People have already questioned my choice to continue Paleo into pregnancy.

  2. Hi Amy,
    Thank you for your comment. I had a friend go through IVF a while back, and it was very successful. She now has 9-month old twin boys! I hope my blog is helpful to you. There will definitely be naysayers about this choice. People are brainwashed into thinking we need to eat whole grains and that pregnancy is a license to indulge.


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